Rebranding A Local Favourite

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A new name, a new beer, and a new entrance are just a few of the changes taking place at The Capital Complex this month.

Matt Carter
The Capital’s Queen Street entrance.

When Zach Atkinson took ownership of The Capital Complex last year, he set out to build upon the business’s reputation as Fredericton’s leading destination for nightlife and live entertainment. The award winning multi-stage establishment already has a solid foundation in place, developed over more than twenty years in operation. So how does one add to that? 

A record store and a brewery might seem like unlikely companions, but when paired with Atkinson’s vision, it all makes perfect sense. As the new owner of a downtown business that has functioned for two decades as an evening-only establishment, adding a daytime component opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

We’ve been around 20 years and our business is built to support the local music and creative scene,” said Atkinson. “We wanted to get creative ourselves and offer our own line of craft beer. 

“We [also] wanted a reason to promote local music through the day so we are adding retail, selling local music and selling concert tickets to local shows and more.”

These changes will see the Queen Street entrance put into use, welcoming daytime customers into the original bar space. The bar will act as a retail shop by day with seating, coffee, and non-alcoholic drinks available, and will transform back to its original self for regular evening events. 

“The Capital Complex has always been so much more than a bar or a venue; it’s the meeting place for the music community and the central creative hub for our artists,” said Penelope Stevens, of the band Motherhood. “This new initiative capitalizes on and elevates that concept, creating a place where music fans and musicians can collaborate all day long.”  

What began simply as The Capital, a tiny, street level bar opened in 1998 and named after the building’s former tenants Capital Men’s and Boy’s Wear, eventually grew to include three separate establishments: The Capital, Wilser’s Room and The Phoenix. Known collectively as the Capital Complex, the establishment’s three stages have become a nationally known go-to destination for touring and local bands alike. 

To further define this new chapter in the business’s history, The Capital Complex has rebranded as The Cap with its street level shop opening for business on March 14. 

The Cap’s first brew, Collaborate & Listen Citra Pale Ale, was created in collaboration with Gray Stone Brewery and is expected to be available on site starting March 6. 

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